Wanuri Kahiu, the maker of the controversial film Rafiki is now a new member of the Oscars Academy.
She broke the good news via Twitter which has since been received well by her friends and fans.
— Wanuri (@wanuri) June 25, 2018
According to Variety, she is one of the 928 people that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended invites to as new members.
She joins some big names in the film industry such as Daniel Kaluuya, Mindy Kaling, Tiffany Haddish, Kumail Nanjiani, Blake Lively, Amy Schumer and Dave Chappelle.
Her Cannes-bound lesbian love story is the first Kenyan feature film to screen at the Cannes festival. However, the film was not well received by the Kenya Classification Board as it was banned. According to Citizen, KFCB alleged that foreign sponsors were trying to introduce and normalise homosexuality in Kenya through movies as Wanuri refused to comply in the removal of some scenes.
Kahiu noted on the film’s site that Rafiki was inspired by the 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko’s Jambula Tree, which chronicled a story of two girls in love in Uganda. The filmmaker added that “making a film about two women in love set in Kenya, means challenging deep rooted cynicism about same sex relationships among actors, crew, friends, and family.”
Congratulations are definitely in order!